Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

U.S. Government Not Cool With Alcohol-Caffeine Combo

Drinks like Four Loko must eliminate the alcohol or face substantial penalties
Photo Courtesy of Jon Raedle
The FDA has banned the combination of alcohol and caffeine in the aftermath of several incidents.

Four Loko-lovers may need to start looking for the next alcoholic fad as "blackout in a can" is changing its formula.  The move comes in response to the considerable heat brought by the U.S. government following several incidents across the country involving the alcohol and caffeine-infused drink.

The federal government warned four companies that manufacture caffeine-spiked booze products to stop selling the drinks or deal with the threat of litigation and seizure of assets. The companies have 15 days to comply with the Food and Drug Administration-penned (FDA) letter.

The drinks, which include Chicago-based Four Loko and San Jose-based Joose, will either have to significantly adjust their formulas or close up shop. While the Four Loko creators have pledged to remove caffeine in their new formula, both companies maintain that the combination is safe.

The drink has had a part in recent Texas tragedies. A 14-year-old Arlington, Texas, girl died after her 14-year old boyfriend lost control of their car. The boy was charged with intoxication manslaughter and later told police they the two had shared a 12-pack of beer and five Four Lokos.   

The drinks "do not meet the legal standard for safety," said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

The drinks are already banned in New York, Washington, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Utah.

As KUT previously reported, lil’-explosive-in-a-can Four Loko had found a drinking populace low on funds and high on the inebriating mish-mash the drink provides. While not underplaying the tragedies associated with the drink, the hysteria surrounding Four Loko has been at times, well, hysterical